The X-Files returned for Season 11 on January 3 with a premiere that ended on a devastating twist that will undoubtedly have viewers talking for quite a long time. The episode delivered a bombshell that is undoubtedly going to change everything for Scully when the truth inevitably comes out, but Scully's story may actually be over sooner rather than later, as actress Gillian Anderson seems ready to move on from The X-Files. Series creator Chris Carter has weighed in one whether The X-Files could continue without Anderson as Scully:
For me, the show has always been Mulder & Scully. So the idea of doing the show without her isn't something I've ever had to consider.
Chris Carter commented on the possibility of Gillian Anderson leaving The X-Files in a recent Reddit AMA, and it certainly sounds like he's not prepared to carry the show on if the leading lady is out. While the idea of a permanent end to the series is undoubtedly unpleasant for fans who care about The X-Files for the cases of aliens and the paranormal, many of those who watch primarily for Mulder and Scully as characters and a unit will probably be okay with the idea of the show ending rather than continuing with just one of them.
Of course, longtime fans have already experienced what The X-Files is like with only one half of the dynamic duo on full-time. David Duchovny left the series as a regular following the end of Season 7, only appearing in half the episodes of Season 8 and the then-series finale at the end of Season 9. Gillian Anderson did an admirable job of carrying the show without her longtime costar, but there was a certain spark missing without Duchovny.
Mulder and Scully were such an iconic package deal for so long that it just didn't feel like the same story with only one of them present. If Anderson truly is ready to leave Scully behind, perhaps it would be better to leave things as they are at the end of Season 11 than to try bringing the show back with only Duchovny.
That said, we shouldn't necessarily rule out a spinoff happening at some point. The idea of a new version of The X-Files starring Robbie Amell and Lauren Ambrose as Mulder and Scully 2.0 was floating around back when Season 10 was happening, and the two did appear (albeit briefly) in the Season 11 premiere. Anything can really happen in the X-Files universe.
We'll have to wait and see whether or not Gillian Anderson ever comes around to the possibility of reprising her role as Scully again after Season 11. There are still nine episodes left this season, so there's still plenty of story to be told, and the events of the premiere indicate that Scully will be at the center.
Tune in to Fox on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET to see Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in action as Mulder and Scully on The X-Files. For some blasts from the X-Files past, take a look at our picks for episodes to rewatch now that Season 11 is upon us. Our midseason TV premiere guide can point you toward some other viewing options as well.